Beating up on the Rangers was nothing short of delightful this past weekend, but is it at all indicative of the Mariners’ true talent? Tonight’s contest should be a better barometer.
Lineups. pic.twitter.com/MoQOrKlBBg— Lauren Smith (@smithlm12) September 8, 2020
Shed Long, Jr. making his season debut in the outfield while José Marmolejos mans right in the cavernous outfield of Oracle Park feels a little risky, but each spot in the lineup tonight has some intrigue to it, and the mound offers even more. Ljay Newsome will be making his second big league start after a l-o-n-g layoff of eleven days thanks to last week’s series with Oakland being wiped out. Ljay has kept to his brand in his first seven innings in Seattle, walking no one and throwing tons of strikes. He’s facing a pretty tough test in the first half of San Francisco’s lineup, with Mike Yastrzemski, Alex Dickerson, Donovan Solano, and Brandon Belt all having fine years at the dish. Look to see plenty of changeups from Ljay, and don’t be surprised to see him mix in his curve more the second time through. Asking him to go more than five or so innings feels like a big ask, but if he can keep his pitch count in check, anything is possible.
The Giants are throwing out Logan Webb to counter, and although the righty has put up a solid FIP of 3.51 across eight starts this year, he’s only cracked the five-inning mark twice, and his Statcast numbers may suggest some incoming regression:
Like Newsome, Webb relies on a fastball/changeup duo as his main offerings, but will also mix in a slider, with a sinker and cutter making rare appearances. He’s been able to get plenty of ground balls, so if Seattle wants to capitalize on those precarious Statcast numbers, they’d do well to try to elevate as much as possible.
Scoreboard Watching: Wait... what did I just type? Anyway, if you’re into that, the A’s have already topped the Astros 4-2 in the first game of their double-header, and the Blue Jays are currently up 2-1 against the Yankees after five. Should Houston drop the second game and the M’s pull out a win, they would be HALF A GAME out of a playoff spot. This season continues to be the weirdest.
Game Time: 6:45 PDT
TV: ROOT Sports NW, MLB.tv
Radio: 710 ESPN, MLB At Bat